Correcting someone's e-mail

Our office manager, a very intelligent and urbane woman, has sent out an e-mail memo about a meeting about joining our credit union. In her last paragraph, she states:

Should I be a smarty and tell her (in a private message) that the word she wants is “accept”, not “except”?

I read somewhere (a Miss Manners book?) that the proper way to gently correct someone (and this is only if you want to make sure they know they’ve made an error so that they don’t do it again and look stupid in front of other people, not just for you to score “I’m grammatically smarter than you” points) is to repeat what they have said, except say it correctly. Example:

“I heard a nucular reactor just exploded!”
“Really? Which nuclear reactor?”

It is then their choice to either 1) acknowledge the correction out loud (“Oh, it’s pronounced “nuclear”? I didn’t realize”), 2) make a note of it for future reference without actually saying anything about it, or 3) ignore it. You have done your job.

In an email, I guess the way to go about this would be to respond and somehow manage to include both “accept” and “except” in their proper contexts. Easier said than done, maybe, but still better than being all, “Yo, you sound like a retard!” Or whatever. :smiley:

Easy one.

Yes, tell her. She had a bit of a brain fart and spell check wasn’t able to save her from herself. Of course, tell her privately, and in a nice way. Not to correct her (she probably knows what the correct word is), but to let her know that there was a proofreading mistake in the memo.

Now on to a tougher one. Big meeting and co-worker has a bugger hanging out of his nose. How do you handle that one?

Handle it? I wouldn’t even touch it! Remember: You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose. :D:D

Really, though. I’d rub the bottom of my nose absently as if I was scratching it. Hopefully they’d see me an subconsciously do it too. Then they’d feel the booger and handle it as best as they could.

Actually, I’d just tell them.
“Um, you seem to have something on your nose, you should probably take care of that.”

I know I’d certainly like someone to just flat out tell me if I were suffering from kamikaze boogers threatening to make me look like a moron. Same thing with something weird on my teeth, pepper, spinach, lipstick, anything. Please just tell me so I can take care of it and get on with my life.

reply to e-mail:

I might accept your invitation about the credit union except that I may have a conflict that day. Will get back to you.


For me, it would depend on her standing in the office in relation to me. If she is my superior, I’d probably not say anything - after all, we knew what she meant, and I wouldn’t want to risk her feeling petty or vindictive towards me! But if this were a coworker of approximately the same stature, I would tell her either privately in person or in a private (read: not “reply to all”!) e-mail.